An elegy for a lost astronaut (inspired by Stanley Kubrick’s film, 2001: A Space Odyssey), the song marked an epochal shift from the utopian triumphalism of the counterculture 1960s. I learned long afterward that Bowie had prophetically written the song a few months before the Woodstock Music Festival, with its heady populist dreams. Communal idealism was over. “Space Oddity,” with its bleak isolationism, looked forward to the darker 1970s, a decade of disillusion and decadent hedonism.

Paglia on Bowie's "Space Oddity"
Suspended Reason